After Toronto’s exciting – and mandatory – 6-3 win last night, the Jays are officially at the halfway point of the 2012 season. At 41-40, I can’t decide if the first half has been successful or not. It has because they are over .500 despite the terrible start from the offense and all the pitching injuries. But it’s not because many hoped they’d be better.
Regardless, we’re halfway. What this means is a series of mid-season posts upcoming here on 500 Level Fan. In the next few days we’ll take a look back at the 2012 season predictions at the halfway point, and then examine some suprises and disappointments. Stay tuned.
But first today we’ll be unveiling the third annual 500 Level Fan All-Star teams. These are players that should be in the All-Star Game if I had my way. And just for fun, I’ll also be announcing the second annual 500 Level Fan No-Star teams, a list of players who are really, truly, and brutally awful.
So sit back and enjoy 500 Level Fan’s All-Star and No-Stars for 2012:
All-Stars: - A.J. Pierzynski (Chicago, AL) and Carlos Ruiz (Philadelphia, NL)
- With 15 HR, A.J. leads all catchers in homers, and though Joe Mauer has a better AVG, OPS, bWAR, and fWAR, only 50.2% of his plate appearances have been as a catcher. Ruiz leads NL catchers in virtually everything and has been the only bright spot on the Phillies.
No-Stars – Kurt Suzuki (Oakland, AL) and Nick Hundley (San Diego, NL)
- These guys have been bad. Suzuki has a .505 OPS, thanks in part to 0 HR and only 11 extra base hits, but that puts Hundley’s .485 OPS to shame. With a .166 AVG, he might be out of a job sooner than later.
All-Stars: - Paul Konerko (Chicago, AL) and Joey Votto (Cincinnati, NL)
- Konerko is slowing down recently, but still has a .963 OPS and .337 AVG to pace all AL 1B. Votto is the best player in baseball, and CANADIAN to boot! He leads in virtually all offensive categories, including bWAR and fWAR.
No-Stars – Casey Kotchman (Cleveland, AL) and Ike Davis (NY Mets, NL)
- With a .621 OPS, -0.6 bWAR, and -0.8 fWAR, how Kotchman has managed to get 248 AB is amazing. Davis has actually been worse for the Mets (-1.0 bWAR, -0.7 fWAR) and has the honour of hitting under the Mendoza line thus far at .199.
All-Stars: - Robinson Cano (New York, AL) and Aaron Hill (Arizona, NL)
- I made the same comment last year – just another ho-hum year for Cano – but this year has been even better: .299 AVG, .963 OPS, 20 HR. With two cycles, a .301 average, .873 OPS, and 11 HR, Jays fans have this to say to Hill – where was this the last two years?
No-Stars – Jemile Weeks (Oakland, AL) and Rickie Weeks (Milwaukee, NL)
- Tough year for the brothers. Each are threatening to hit under .200. Enough said.
All-Stars: - Miguel Cabrera (Detroit, AL) and David Wright (NY Mets, NL)
- Lawrie leads all AL 3B in both versions of WAR (5.0 on baseball reference, 2.8 on fangraphs), but can’t ignore the offensive production of Miggy, who has doubled Lawrie in HR and RBI and has almost 150 points on him in OPS. Wright is having a huge bounceback season for the Mets.
No-Stars – Kevin Youkilis (BOS / CHW, AL) and Placido Polanco (Philadelphia, NL)
- Hurt, benched, traded, and terrible – bad, bad season for Youk thus far. Polanco looks very old over in Philly.
All-Stars: - Elvis Andrus (Texas, AL) and Jed Lowrie (Houston, NL)
- Asdrubal Cabrera has more power (11 HR to 1), but Andrus gets on base more (.381 OBP to .368), steals more bases (16 to 2), and is a much better fielder. Lowrie has 14 HR and has been a lone bright spot for the Astros.
No-Stars – Alexei Ramirez (Chicago, AL) and Dee Gordon (LA, NL)
- Ramirez has a .598 OPS for Chicago, and has put up a 0.0 fWAR – that is bad. Gordon can run (28 SB), but that’s it. His .556 OPS is one of baseball’s worst.
All-Stars: - Jose Bautista (Toronto, AL), Josh Hamilton (Texas, AL), Mike Trout (LA Angels, AL), and Andrew McCutchen (Pittsburgh, NL), Ryan Braun (Milwaukee, NL), Carlos Gonzalez (Colorado, NL)
- Bautista leads in HR, Hamilton leads in OPS, and Trout leads in AVG. What’s not to like? In the NL, McCutchen is single-handedly turning the Pirates into contenders, Braun is doing even better than his MVP 2011, and CarGo is the only thing worth watching in Colorado.
No-Stars – Brennan Boesch (Detroit, AL) and Cameron Maybin (San Diego, NL)
- Boesch has been spectacularly bad in 2012 to the tune of a .636 OPS and a dreadful -1.4 fWAR. Maybin showed promise at some point, but that promise is long, long gone with a sub .600 OPS. At least he can run.
All-Stars: - Chris Sale (Chicago, AL) and R.A. Dickey (NY Mets, NL)
- Where did he come from? Sale may trail Verlander in K’s, but with a better WHIP and ERA, he edges out JV. Dickey has been incredible. The back-to-back one hitters might have been enough to get him this spot, but then throw in a 12-1 record, 116 K’s, 2.15 ERA, and 0.88 WHIP? Ridiculous.
No-Stars – Hector Noesi (Seattle, AL) and Tim Lincecum (San Francisco, NL)
- 2-10, 5.69 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, and only 56 K’s in 91.2 IP. How is Noesi still starting? Lincecum has hit rock bottom in San Fran. Sure he has 101 K’s, but that 6.08 ERA is unbearably bad. Bullpen perhaps?
All-Stars: - Scott Downs (LA Angels, AL) and Matt Belisle (Colorado, NL)
- Yes Downs closed for a bit this year, but he’s not right now and his numbers are crazy: 28 IP, 0.32 ERA, 0.96 WHIP. Belisle doesn’t have a big name but he does have big numbers: 1.83 ERA, 11 holds, 1.4 fWAR.
No-Stars – Francisco Cordero (Toronto, AL) and Marc Rzepczynski (St. Louis, NL)
- CoCo is hard to watch and his numbers prove it. He needs to go away. Now. Rzep looks terrible for the Cards so far, making me feel even better about the Colby trade.
All-Stars: - Fernando Rodney (Tampa Bay, AL) and Craig Kimbrel (Atlanta, NL)
- How does Rodney do it? 24 saves, 0.96 ERA, 0.72 WHIP. Kimbrel might not be as dominating as last year, but with 23 saves, a 1.50 ERA, 0.77 WHIP, and 15.00 K/9 he is still pretty dominating.
No-Stars – Brandon League (Seattle, AL) and Heath Bell (Miami, NL)
- League lost his job after 6 blown saves, an 0-5 record and 16 walks. Bell has been robbing the Marlins of his contract money with a 6.39 ERA and 1.74 WHIP. Embarrassing.